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August 31, 2010 at 5:03 AM

Hill shines brightly in narrow Pawtucket victory

8/31 Cup of Coffee: Pawtucket squeaked out a close victory while Lowell picked up its fourth in a row and Portland came out on top in a back-and-forth contest.

Offense was at a premium Monday evening as Pawtucket nipped the Rochester Red Wings (MIN) 2-1. Rich Hill was outstanding during his 7.0 inning start, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and a walk while striking out 6. Dustin Richardson pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Robert Manuel tossed a 1-2-3 ninth for his 13th save. After Rochester took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, Lars Anderson scurried home on a wild pitch in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game. Jeremy Hermida's sacrifice fly in the fourth brought home the eventual winning run. Bubba Bell and Gil Velazquez each had 2 hits to lead the PawSox offense.

In a very close contest, Portland's bullpen was the difference as the Sea Dogs downed the Binghamton Mets (NYM) 7-6. Jeremy Kehrt was torched in his 4.2 innings of work, allowing 6 runs on 13 hits, striking out 2. Ryne Reynoso moved to 2-0 thanks to his 3.1 innings of scoreless relief. Daniel Turpen pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record his third save. Portland struck first in the bottom half of the first, receiving a Nate Spears RBI single to take a 1-0 lead. In the second, the Sea Dogs exploded for five runs on doubles by William Vazquez, Chih-Hsien Chiang and Luis Expoisto in addition to an RBI single by Jose Iglesias. Binghamton came roaring back to tie the game in the top of the fifth but Portland plated the decisive run in the bottom half of the inning on a Jorge Padron sacrifice fly. Every member of the Portland lineup recorded a hit except for Anthony Rizzo. Chiang was a perfect 3 for 3 to lead the Sea Dog offense.

Looking to increase its grasp on first place, the Greenville Drive lost a heart breaker to the Charleston RiverDogs (NYY) 3-1 in twelve innings. Ryan Pressly received the start for the Drive, going 5.0 innings, allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7. Armando Zerpa added 2.2 scoreless innings of relief, striking out 2. Dennis Neuman picked up his first blown save of the year for his 3.1 innings of relief in which he allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk. Jordan Flasher tossed the final 0.2 innings of the contest, allowing 1 run on 1 hit. The Drive's only run of the evening came on a Kolbrin Vitek RBI double in the top of the second.

Lowell completed a rare sweep of the Staten Island Yankees by defeating them 6-3 on Monday night. Keith Couch went the first 3.0 innings, allowing an unearned run on 3 hits while striking out 2. Tyler Lavigne picked up his first win as a member of the Red Sox organization for his 5.0 innings of relief during which he allowed 2 runs on 7 hits. Cesare Angeloni hurled a 1-2-3 ninth inning to pick up his first save. Down 1-0 in the third, Lowell took the lead on RBI singles from Jose Garcia and Bryce Brentz. In the fourth, Henry Ramos, playing in his first game with the Spinners, knocked in the third Lowell run on his RBI ground out. The Spinners opened the game up in the fifth, scoring twice on a Joantoni Garcia RBI double and a costly passed ball. Lowell tacked on one more in the sixth on a throwing error by the Yankees third baseman. The Spinners open up their final series of the year tomorrow against the Tri-City ValleyCats (HOU).

Player of the Night: Rich Hill, who was stellar in his 7.0 inning start for Pawtucket, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and a walk while striking out 6 in the PawSox 2-1 victory.